DDT use in India


During our recent travel to Arunachal Pradesh, we came across a shocking truth. While walking in the town of Zero (elevation 5,577 feet), we came across house after house painted with black letter signs: “DDT, 7/14/15”. Enquiries with our local guide confirmed what I had suspected — that DDT was sprayed here on July 14, 2015. He said every house is sprayed by the government twice a year across large parts of Arunachal Pradesh. A few days later, in Darjeeling, another sign made me alarmed. I asked our guide the same question and his reply was similar.: DDT is sprayed twice a year in every house in West Bengal.

Apparently, DDT is being sprayed in most regions of India once or twice a year to eliminate mosquitoes. DDT is an organochlorine insecticide and a persistent organic pollutant. One has to read the groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, an environmentalist, who told the world the broader story of the disastrous consequences of the overuse of insecticides and raised enough concern from her testimony before the U.S. Congress. When DDT has been banned in the West, why is it still being used in India? When tested on animals, DDT is found to cause chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and immune system and persists in the body. With a huge pool of biologists and other scientists, India can devise ways to eliminate the malaria deaths from the country. Poisoning of millions of Indians by DDT spray is not the solution.

Chaitanya Davé,


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2017 2:33:13 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/ddt-use-in-india/article8646433.ece